University HealthCare Alliance

August 24, 2018

Sleep for Performance and Wellbeing

This year at UHA, we are taking strides to promote sleep health amongst our providers. Our survey data indicates that sleep related impairment bears a strong association with burnout in our providers. Sleep is crucial to proper cognitive performance, emotion regulation, and fulfilment as a provider and human being.  For information on the neurological impacts of sleep impairment, see this Nature Reviews Neuroscience article which indicates sleep impairment causes intermittent lapses in attention, inaccurate processing of others’ emotions, decreased affect regulation, inaccurate reward/incentive processing, decreased hippocampal encoding of long term memory, and decreased aversive stimulus processing. Just one night of sleep deprivation is associated with a 60% increase in amygdala reactivity to negative images such as weapons, venomous snakes and spiders, and mutilations.  If you are crunched for time and need something a bit more accessible, click here for a five minute TED talk given by Ariana Huffington: How to Succeed? Get More Sleep

Over the past month, those of you who indicated that you wanted personalized sleep health recommendations should have been receiving weekly personalized recommendations based on your answers.  For those of you who did not, you can still claim a complimentary one-year membership to Sleep Rate. Click here to learn more and claim your membership. 

Many times we sacrifice our sleep in order to devote time to other priorities.  While these sort of trades offs are often unavoidable in life, we must be honest with ourselves about what we are trading: our resiliency, performance, reactivity, attention, working memory, happiness, and our emotion, stimulus, memory, reward, and incentive processing.   The next time you want to treat yourself, consider skipping the massage or cookie and reach for a good nights’ rest. 

Be Well,

Rachel Roberts, MD
Medical Director, Provider Wellness
Medical Director, Collaborative Primary Care

Andrea Hausel, MPH, RDN
Wellness Director
University HealthCare Alliance